A chronic condition which includes GERD occurs due to an imbalance in the fine workings of the human body. In the case of GERD, the real reason is often an imbalance in the gut microflora. Our digestive system is inundated with billions and billions of bacteria, many of which are helpful to us. They help is many ways – protect us from infections by pathogens, bolster our immune system, produce vital nutrients for us and so on.
When this normal flora is imbalanced by the overgrowth of unwanted bacteria, especially Helicobacter pylori, the food is not digested properly. In addition, this leads to fermentation of the food, leading to gas production. This gas exerts pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscular valve that allows food to enter the stomach from the esophagus (food pipe). The LES succumbs to pressure from within the stomach and opens upwards, spilling acidic contents of the stomach into the esophagus. We know it by the name of GERD.
GERD or (Gastroesophageal reflux disorder), it is a disorder related to digestion that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). LES is the ring of muscle present between the esophagus and the stomach. Multiple people, even pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion. All these arise due to the action of GERD.
GERD is mainly due to periodic acid reflux – the holdup of stomach acid or bile into the esophagus.
When you swallow, the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) – a round band of muscle around the bottom of your esophagus – relaxes to let food and other liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes.
But when this valve becomes weak or relaxes abnormally, stomach acid can flow back into the esophagus, often causing heartburn. Sometimes this can disrupt your daily life.
GERD requires immediate treatment. If immediate action is not there, furthermore, this can cause:
- Even the acid can cause a change in the esophagus cells over time, a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus increases your risk of getting esophageal cancer to a greater extent.